Project Project
Print
-A +A

Quality of life in Europe: a comparative analysis of member and candidate states of the European Union

Project Management
Duration
2002 - 2007

The enlargement of the European Union has strengthened interest for a systematic record on the quality of life in different European regions. Four of our unit’s externally funded projects dealt with the development of an extensive and systematic comparison of the living conditions in 28 European countries (EU-15, new member states, Turkey). In 2002, different spheres of life were examined more closely by using specially harmonised Eurobarometer data and reports on income situation, social exclusion, working conditions, fertility, health care as well as general quality of life were prepared. In a follow-up project, based on a survey (European Quality of Life Survey) conducted in 2003 in the aforementioned countries, detailed analyses on objective living conditions, subjective well-being and the perceived quality of society were presented. Questions to be answered among others include to what extent enlargement increases heterogeneity within the European Union. Apart from a pure description of living standards and subjective feelings of satisfaction, the following questions were analytically explored: the relationship between objective social position and subjective well-being; which factors have the strongest influence on people’s feelings of satisfaction; to what extent life situations of social groups in different countries are polarised; and how strong are the influence of old and new forms of inequality within this context. Furthermore, it was examined what standards people apply when they assess their own positions, and how country profiles and patterns of relationships differ, or are similar, in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

Both projects as well as the unit's participation in the EQLS questionnaire development were funded by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin and carried out in cooperation with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin, the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Turin, the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the Demographic Research Institute (DRI) in Budapest. Cooperation with these institutes and various experts from the old and new EU member states continues.

Methodology:

The projects used existing representative population surveys, complemented by macro data, to depict the 28 countries and enable a multi-level analysis.

Publications

Alber, Jens/Fahey, Tony/Sacareno, Chiara (Eds.) (2008): Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union. London/New York: Routledge.

Böhnke, Petra (2005): First European Quality of Life Survey: Life satisfaction, happiness and sense of belonging. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Alber, Jens/Delhey, Jan/Keck, Wolfgang/Nauenburg, Ricarda et al. (2004): Quality of life in Europe.European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Böhnke, Petra (2004): Perceptions of social integration and exclusion in an enlarged Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Delhey, Jan (2004): Life satisfaction in an enlarged Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Alber, Jens/Fahey, Tony (2004): Perceptions of living conditions in an enlarged Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Alber, Jens/Kohler, Ulrich (2004): Health and care in an enlarged Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.